Anglers sought to catch steelhead, turn in live fish

By the Tri-City HeraldMarch 20, 2014 

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking anglers willing to fish for steelhead and then turn in the live fish the last two Fridays and Saturdays of March.

Fishing would be done by boat or from the shore at the Ringold Access Area on the Columbia River.

Steelhead returns to the hatchery trap at the Wells Hatchery have been below normal, meaning Ringold is receiving few, if any, fry this spring. The steelhead produced from those caught in the Angler Broodstock Collection project will produce fish to be released in the spring of 2015, and adults will be ready to catch in the fall of 2016 and 2017.

It's the agency's first Angler Broodstock Collection project and the goal is to collect a total of 200 hatchery steelhead from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. over the four-day event. Wild steelhead must be immediately released.

A fish transport vehicle will be parked at the boat launch to collect live adult hatchery steelhead and take them to Ringold for spawning.

Participants must register each day before fishing and bring a state fishing license with a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement to the check-in at the Ringold boat launch. Fish will not be recorded on anglers' catch record card unless they are in poor condition or dead from handling.

They should have a live well or ice chest to hold the fish with an aeration or recirculation system. Some recirculating pumps will be available to loan to anglers. Only barbless hooks may be used with single point hooks preferred.

The Ringold Access Area is 20 miles from Pasco.

Head north on Road 68/Taylor Flats Road and after 15.5 miles, turn left onto Eltopia/Ringold Road. Drive 3 miles and turn left toward the river to stay on Ringold Road to reach the boat launch.

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